Thursday, December 26, 2013

Statistics made easier by STAR

A few years back, I learned how to use R, a statistical software that requires one to write the commands (or scripts). While I enjoyed deciphering this new language and use it in numerous data analyses, other people are not big fans. They like to click on buttons and get the data analyzed without bothering with the script. Thus, statisticians in IRRI developed the Statistical Tool for Agricultural Research (STAR), a program that does exactly that: analysts just have to click on the preferred/required types of analyses and the software will churn out the values.

And did I say that the software is free? Just like R, STAR is accessible for budget-strapped individuals.

I've taken it for a spin during one of the introductory courses... The version I used in the course has a few hits and misses (particularly the color scheme of data points in graphs) but it appears to be pretty adequate for several types of multivariate analyses.

Now, understanding what the numbers that STAR churns out means is a whole different story...